Recipe: Black Bean & Acorn Squash Empanadas

Looking for a healthy version of empanadas?

This recipe is adapted from the very popular cookbook Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.

There are lots of ways to enjoy these and stay uber healthy…with some guacamole or a spicy lime cilantro sauce by just combining in a blender some lime juice, cilantro, serrano and fage 0% greek yogurt and add some water to thin it out for a nice drizzle sauce.

Recipe: Black Bean & Acorn Squash Empanadas

  • 1 c. APF
  • 1 c. Whole Pastry Flour
  • ¼ c. cornmeal
  • 2 T. sugar
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ½ c. vegan shortening (chilled), chopped into small pieces (i like earth balance the best)
  • ½ - ¾ c. cold water
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. evoo
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and brunoise
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and brunoise
  • 2 smaller acorn squash, peeled, seeds removed and brunoise
  • ¼ c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 T. oregano, chopped
  • 1 T. cumin, ground
  • 1 (16 oz.) can of black beans, drained, rinsed and mashed a few times with a whisk
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1-3 t. red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  1. To make the dough: In a food processor, pulse together APF, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt until combined. Sprinkle in pieces of shortening, pulsing until dough just begins to form together. Sprinkle in apple cider and begin alternating between pulsing the processor a few times and a few tablespoons of water until the dough comes together. Remove from processor, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
  2. Prepare filling: In a saute pan over medium high heat, add the evoo, when it is hot, add the bell pepper, jalapeno and saute golden brown on edges (2-3 minutes), add acorn squash and continue to saute until squash is cooked through, but not mushy (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Stir in cilantro, oregano, cumin, black beans, lime juice, lime zest, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and let cool completely.
  3. Prepare dough and fill empanadas: Remove dough from fridge, break into 3 pieces leaving 1 on your working surface and put the rest back in the fridge. This will make your life easier if the dough is chilled. Roll out your dough into a rectangle (about a 12x9 in size), cut it into 6 squares. Roll out each square a little thinner (about a 4x4 in size). Spoon about 2-3 T. of filling in lower left corner of each piece, fold the top right side over the bottom right filling, gently press together the ends, starting as close to the filling as you can, without breaking the dough. Then using a fork, press around the edges and clean up the edges with a knife (to form the empanada half moon shape). Place the finished empanada on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, like the 100% canola or coconut oil. Finish rolling out to rectangle, then squares, filling and sealing empanadas with remaining 2 balls of dough (should make about 18 empanadas)
  4. Bake on empanadas at 400 degrees until golden brown and warmed through (about 20 minutes).
Makes about 18 small Empanadas...which is about as much rolling as my carpal tunnel can handle:(


Ode to Curry Gold

Ode to Curry Gold at Sweetgreen
Inspired by Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Women

Fast food joints wonder where your secret lies.
You’re not processed or built to suit a ‘value’ meals size
They think you're selling healthy lies.

I say,
It’s in the reach of my warriors
The span of my long run,
The stride in my fartlek,
The curl of my biceps.
You’re curry gold
Phenomenal curry gold.
That’s you.

I walk to where you are
Just as cool as the FroYo I see
And to the fast food man across the street,
That stands or
Falls down to his knees,
His media swarms around me,
Yet tired and clogged arteries are all I see.
I say,
It’s the curry in the dressing,
And the almonds toasted just right,
The spring in my spinach,
And the joy of cucumbers so light.
Your curry gold,
Phenomenally curry gold,
That’s you.

The man himself has wondered
What I see in you.
They try hard to live without a deep fryer
But sweetened injections can’t touch
Your simple roasted chicken
When I show them your ingredients there's no mystery
They say they still can’t see
I say,
It’s within this chefs clean eating habit,
The sun on your beets,
The spice of your curry,
My healthy lifestyle complete
Your curry gold
Phenomenal curry gold,
That’s you.

Now they understand
Just why there's always a line
You don’t shout or jump about
Although sometimes your stores' music is just plain too loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the beep of my Garmin,
The bend of my wheel,
The prayer at my hearts center,
My choice to care,
‘Cause your curry gold
Phenomenal curry gold,
That’s you.

Recipe: Mock Curry Gold
  • 2 c. spinach
  • 1 small chicken breast, roasted, small dice
  • 1/4 c. cucumber, small dice
  • 1/4 c. pineapple, peeled, small dice
  • 1/4 c. beets, peeled, small dice
  • 2 T. almonds, slivered, toasted
  • 2 T. cranberries, dried, unsweetened
  • 2 t. evoo
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, toss together spinach, chicken, cucumber, beets, pineapple, almonds, cranberries until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together evoo, curry powder, salt, pepper and drizzle around edges of large bowl with salad. Gently fold and toss salad with tongs.


Article & Recipe: Quinoa...your Passover loophole?

Going through grain withdrawal this passover?

And here is one of my favorite side dishes for red quinoa:

Recipe: Red Quinoa with Swiss Chard & Toasted Chickpeas
  • 1 c. red quinoa, gently rinsed
  • 3 c. veggie stock
  • 1 (16 oz.) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of red swiss chard, ribs removed, chiffonade
  • 2-3 T. evoo
  • 1/4 c. combo of garlic, onions, bell peppers, brunoise (based on your preferences)
  • 1 T. oregano, minced
  • 1-2 t. sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fill a medium pot 3/4 with half water and half veggie stock, bring to boil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Bring another pot to a boil, filled 3/4 with water and generously sprinkled with salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 400, when hot, place chickpeas in sided baking dish, spray with canola oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and place in oven to bake until toasted and crispy (about 30 minutes).
  4. Add quinoa to 1st pot of veggie stock-boiling water, turn down to 'gently' boil until grain just begins to sprout, about 10-15 minutes. Strain grain from liquid and set aside.
  5. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl with 1 part ice and 3 parts water, set aside.
  6. Add swiss chard to 2nd boiling water pot to blanch (about 30 seconds to 1 minute), strain from pot and dump into ice bath until swiss chard is cooled (about 30 seconds), strain from ice bath, gently squeeze excess liquid from swiss chard and set aside.
  7. In a saute pan over medium high heat, add about 1 T. evoo until hot and almost smoking, then stir in garlic, onions, bell peppers and saute until translucent and golden brown on edges (about 1-2 minutes) then stir in swiss chard, tossing to coat, remove from heat and dump into large bowl.
  8. Add cooked quinoa to large bowl, gently toss with 1-2 T. evoo, oregano, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Check out another one of our quinoa recipes here!